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Academic Nudes - At the Sea Shore

My most recent post to this site was an image I had drawn of a number of boys bathing nude. To us these days that is a naughty topic. A topic that is spoke of in whispers and shoved off to the side. I am sure many of us took the chance to skinny dip in their youth or even more recently, yet it still has that aura of the taboo around it.

How strange that the aura is less then a hundred years old.

You might be aware of the quite famous picture of a group of nude boys running away from a bobby. Shot in England in the mid-1920's, it showed the newly adopted feeling that nude bathing in public was somehow wrong. That sentiment was only just coming about however - and indeed would not even be a part of bathing in places like the YMCA or school pools until the 1960s. Look back in history and you will find any number of paintings of children at the seaside, nude. It does not become a taboo subject until the 1920s and the new wave of christian morality in the wake of the first world war.

In the Americas this wave leads to the fetishization of the female breast as something that must at all costs be hidden. It becomes a taboo item, that even the mere hint of a nipple at the superbowl causes shame and a wave of tape delays.

Strange then that the bathing costume of children in Europe even after this prudence against bathing nude does not usually include a top for girls. Even in adult hood there is less of a taboo against sunbathing without a top.


Bah, I ramble. I happen to adore the academic nude. Perhaps it is simply because I am mostly asexual and feel no true desire when I see those naked forms, but simple admiration for the glow of life captured by the artists brush.

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Added: 6 years ago
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